Following our exit in the Copa del Rey in midweek the focus now turns back to La Liga with Villarreal heading to Andalucia on Sunday to take on Malaga. The game will take place in Malaga's La Rosaleda Stadium which I had the pleasure of visiting a few years ago, the guided tour was very informative! Now back to the game, Malaga will be no pushover despite the fact that they too exited the Copa during the week. Their previous league game was in the Bernabeu where they pushed Madrid all the way and it took a very dubious penalty (their second of the game) in the 90th minute to give Madrid the 4-3 victory.
They currently are sitting comfortably in 9th position which is very impressive considering they have just come from the Segunda. I would not be too familiar with their players except for what I've heard of their two Portuguese wingers Duda and Eliseu. Duda is an ex-Sevilla man and is a superb crosser of the ball, he's also got three goals so far this season. Eliseu has been getting rave reviews in Spain and has pace to burn, the two of them will have to be marshalled carefully.
Our squad for the game is :
Goalkeepers: Diego López y Viera.
Defenders: Gonzalo, Capdevila, Godin, Ángel y Cygan.
Midfielders: Marcos Senna, Eguren, Ibagaza, Cazorla, Pires, Cani, Mati Fernández, Bruno y Edmilson.
Forwards: Rossi, Llorente y Guille Franco.
As you can see it's a bit thin defensively with no Venta or Fuentes, however it's the first time we have had a full midfield compliment all season. There's still no Nihat and there is no room for Altidore either. The Copa performance does not really bother me and I fully expect the players to be firing on all cylinders for this game. Pellegrini is rumoured to be going with :
Angel - Gonzalo - Godin - Bruno
Santi - Eguren - Senna - Matias
Rossi - Llorente
That's the eleven he used in training yesterday but there's no guarantees. Malaga will be tricky opponents but it's games like these that will show how strong our title credentials really are. According to Maddi the game will be shown on Gol TV at 11am eastern time but links to streams will hopefully be provided here also. I'm hoping for us to keep a clean sheet and sneak a 0-1 win. Endavant Villarreal!